« AnteriorContinua »
To whom the angel. Therefore what he gives
As may compare with heaven; and to taste
440 Can turn, or holds it possible to turn, Metals of drossiest ore to perfect gold As from the mine. Mean while at table Eve Minister'd naked, and their flowing cups With pleasant liquors crown'd: O innocence 445 Deserving Paradife! if ever, then, Then had the sons of God excuse to' have been Enamour'd at that fight; but in those hearts Love unlibidinous reign'd, nor jealousy Was understood, the injur'd lover's hell. 450
Thus when with meats and drinks they had suffic'd, Not burden'd nature, sudden mind arose In Adam, not to let th' occasion pass Giv'n him by this great conference to know Of things above his world, and of their being 455 Who dwell in heav'n, whose excellence he saw Transcend his own so far, whose radiant forms, Divine effulgence, whose high power so far Exceeded human, and his wary speech
Thus to th' empyreal minister he fram'd.
Inhabitant with God, now know I well
465 As that more willingly thou couldft not seem At Heav'n's high feasts to' have fed: yet what compare?
To whom the winged hierarch reply'd. O Adam, one Almighty is, from whom All things proceed, and up to him return, 470 If not deprav'd from good, created all Such to perfection, one first matter all, Indued with various forms, various degrees Of substance, and in things that live, of life; But more refin'd, more spiritous, and pure, 475 As nearer to him plac'd or nearer tending Each in their several active spheres assign'd, Till body up to spirit work, in bounds Proportion'd to cach kind. So from the root Springs lighter the green stalk, from thence the leaves More aery, last the bright consummate flower 481 Spirits odorous breathes : flowers and their fruit, Man’s nourishment, by gradual scale sublim'd, To vital spi'rits aspire, to animal, To intellectual; give both life and sense, 485 Fancy and understanding; whence the foul Reafon receives, and reason is her being,
Discarkve, or intuitive; discourse
505 To whom the Patriarch of Mankind reply'd. O favourable Spi'rit, propitious Guest, Well halt thou taught the way that might direct Our knowledge, and the scale of Nature set From center to circumference whereon
510 In contemplation of created things By steps we may ascend to God. But say, What meant that caution join'd, If ye be found Obedient? Can we want obedience then To him, or poflibly his love desert,
Who form'd us from the dust, and plac'd us here
To whom the angel. Son of Heav'n and Earth,
530 Finds no acceptance, nor can find; for how Can hearts, not free, be try'd whether they serve Willing or no, who will but what they must By destiny, and can no other chuse? Myself and all th' angelic host, that stand 535 In light of God enthron’d, our happy state Hold, as you yours, while our obedience holds; On other surety none; freely we serve, Because we freely love, as in our will To love or not; in this we stand or fall:
540 And some are fall'n, to disobedience fall’n, And fo from Heav'n to deepest Hell; O fall From what high state of bliss into what woe!